Imagine you are an employer. You have two candidates in front of you for a beauty therapy position. One in casual, rumpled clothing and unkempt hair and the other in a smart uniform, well-groomed and professional in appearance. Which one do you immediately want to interview first? While looks aren’t everything, having a professional and neat appearance certainly helps and the same goes for your CV!
Tips for a Stand-Out Beauty CV
Keep it simple. It is likely that your CV will be read on screen so make sure to stick to neat and concise layouts and formats. To make more of an impact with the way your CV looks, use visual aids such as bold formatting, line breaks and bullet points. Personally, I would avoid using any already made CV templates from the internet. Chances are if you have come across it then so have many other job seekers and consequently many employers. Give your CV a more personal and original touch that ensures you stand out by doing the layout yourself.
Get the font right. Out of all the design choices you will make while constructing your CV, while it may seem trivial, font choice may be the most important. You want something aesthetically pleasing that is easy to read. If your font is too distracting it could prevent the employer from arriving at your most important content! Sans serif fonts (the no-frills collection such as Arial or Verdana) are usually seen as fresh and modern but still professional. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman are readable, but perhaps a bit old fashioned.
In paragraphs vs. bullet points, bullet points will always win.
‘I attended high school from 2004-2009 where I studied English, Maths, Science and History. I got grades A-C and then went on to college and studied NVQ Level 2 and 3 Beauty Therapy.’
Compare this to:
NVQ Level 3 Beauty Therapy
NVQ Level 2 Beauty Therapy
2004-2009 High school
GCSE English A
Cut out the waffle! An average of 250 CVs are received for every position and employers don’t have the time to sit and thoroughly read through each one. If your CV looks more like an autobiography than a CV then the chances are it’s going straight in the ‘no’ pile. Think of it as an advert or a preview, designed to capture attention and interest but you don’t get the whole story! Exhibit your key selling points and leave the reader wanting to know more. Try to limit your CV to 1-2 pages maximum. More pages do not necessarily mean more experience.
Let’s talk lingo! Now we’ve spruced up your look and cut down on length, what about the content? Of course, we have the basics: name, contact information, education and employment history. But how do we really engage your potential boss? Again, imagine you are the employer and recruiting for your job. What would you like to see? Ask yourself, ‘what are my unique key selling points for this job?’ Employers want to know how you will make a difference at their company and this really is your opportunity to show your individuality.
Phrases like ‘passionate and enthusiastic’ or ‘good team player’ are monotonous and could be applied to almost anyone applying for the same job as you. Instead of filling your CV with empty jargon, use phrases that demonstrate your individual abilities. A job in beauty therapy isn’t just about giving the best treatments, therapists also need to be able to retail, upsell and cross promote, give amazing customer service, take part in events or seminars etc. Did you set up a successful event at a previous job that increased the client base? Achieve the top spot on the retail list? Gain the most positive reviews? If so, let your potential boss know! By using more exciting, action language we can easily become more compelling. For example:
Passive language/Doing: Took part in beauty events.
Action language/Achieving: Increased client base by helping to set up and run beauty events.
Don’t worry, though, if you are straight from college or have less experience, this doesn’t mean you have to lie about your achievements (you will always get caught out – have you not seen the interview episodes of The Apprentice?). CV writing can be tricky, especially if you are lacking in industry experience, but don’t underestimate that one-week work experience or a few days volunteering, this shows your enthusiasm for the job and the industry. Even if you are new to the beauty industry, looking to pursue your passion and have a career change, you can include experiences from your previous jobs that apply to the position you want!
Your relevant experience doesn’t have to come from a previous job. What have you done over the last couple of years? How can those experiences apply to the job you are applying for? Your studies, volunteer work, your out of work hobbies and interests can all be included here. Maybe you were captain of a sports team at school, you’ve been travelling or you write for your own beauty blog. All of these things show team working skills, leadership skills, independence, cultural awareness, passion and enthusiasm.
Finally, ensure to proof read your CV or even get a friend or relative to do it for you. According to new research, one in three people hamper their chances of landing that interview due to a spelling mistake on their CV. So it really helps to get someone you trust to look over it for you.
While the time-you-spent-putting-it-together to the time-the-employer-spends-reading-it ratio can be frustrating, taking the time to really perfect your CV will all be worth it once you land that interview for your dream job!